Clancy's -- Visitor-friendly or not?
- Fretting Visitor
Hello NOLA chowhounds --
I will be a first-time N.O. visitor this weekend, and sadly for less than 24 hours. I've read the posts (and half of Tom Fitzmorris's reviews) extensively in preparation, but can hardly stand having to choose a restaurant for my one night in the city.
All this reading and stewing (!) has led me to think that for the price and dress code, Clancy's might be my winner -- but, I am concerned that it may be a bit too clubby/regulars-oriented to welcome a one-time tourist.
Anyone care to weigh on this dilemma?
Thanks in advance for any advice!
Back in August we were kept waiting 40 minutes for our confirmed reservation. Then we were seated in what was the worst table I have ever seen in a restaurant! It was right by the swinging kitchen doors and next to a station where the busboys were constantly working. We asked to be moved which resulted in another wait of 15 minutes. As for the meal; The smoked soft shell crab and the drum were two of the best dishes I have had in N.O. The Gumbo was weak and the lemon ice box cake was full of ice. The waiter was solid.The treatment by the host ruined the meal. Just one experience but one I would not repeat.
I have heard those reports about rudeness before but have never experienced them personally. I have eaten there several times but am not what you would call a "regular". (There are too many great places to eat here to limit yourself to one place regularly.)It may depend on what day of the week you go. I try not to compete with the "regular" crowd on the weekends, and usually go pretty early, so it may be that I've been there when they are not unusually busy. The food is awesome, the service good, the atmosphere fine (except it can get a bit smokey.) If you still have doubts, go to Brigtsen's - it's a sure bet.
My sole Clancy's experience came on my sole (alas!!) trip to NO, summer of 2000. My wife and I went to Jacques-Imo's on a Wednesday night, only to discover it was temporarily closed, but was reopening the next night (the staff was meeting when we arrived). After Jack (the owner) insisted on paying for our cab and the hostess poured us each a glass of wine, they directed us to Clancy's. We were not disappointed. The food, including the legendary oysters with brie, was superb. The atmosphere was just fine (although this is not particularly a place I'd choose for atmosphere), and the service was also fine. We did not have a long wait, and our table was perfectly acceptable.
Go for the food. On the other hand, I'd give a plug to Jacques-Imo's, if for no other reason than the way they made us feel like long lost friends, and not just a couple of tourists.